A Daisy Update

Its been just two and a half weeks since Daisy's surgery and this past Friday was the big check-up! We'd spent 14 days getting the poor beast to lay down constantly. She'd spent most of her time in the big Elizabeth collar (which she hated and kept getting stuck on furniture!), though we did occasionally let her out for a little break, as long as she was laying right with us. We did endless warm compresses, and fed her a million little pills (thank god for peanut butter).

I also spent a good amount of time in bed with her, too; especially in the first few days. She is always happiest when she's with her people! 

The meds ended slowly - one pill 3 days in, another at a week, and the last on this past Thursday - and as of Friday the collar came off and the restrictions on movement have come to an end! I know Daisy has been itching for a longer walk, and we were all ready for her to no longer need to be lifted on and off of the couch or bed (her two favorite places to nap during the day). Most of all, we were so ready to know that she was healed! It was no fun seeing our pup limp, or look uncomfortable and know she was hurting. Its also quite nice to be done with feeling like we have a toddler again. I'm used to independent babies now, not having to be on top of someone all day!

Snuggling together, in the cone.

She's basically back to normal, running and trotting and jumping on and off of the bed like nothing happened. She's a little more tired on longer walks, and we know it will take a little bit of time before our sweet beast regains her full strength in that leg, but we're so grateful for how well she did... and for all the sweet words we got wishing her well! Thank you all.
I'm ready Mom!


Women's March On... [Denver]

Gwen has been reading about Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in school, and we've been having talks about how one person can change the course of the world if they stand up for what they believe in. This past weekend was the Women's March on DC, and its sister marches around the country. The timing seemed fortuitous.

This isn't even the march... just the people walking in from our train!

I wrote this one the day of the march, and I'm going to put it in here too:

"Look, can I just put this out there since I've been reading some mean spirited responses to the march? This is not about being a poor loser, not about simply disagreeing with our new President's proposed policies, and certainly not about being a "special snowflake" (the only of the insulting names I'm willing to retype). This is about exercising my rights to peaceful protest and freedom of speech.

This is about letting my daughter know that her pussy is her own and that NO ONE can touch it without her permission, no matter how rich or powerful they are. [And let me just pause here, because if you disagree with me already, you can feel free to unfriend me right here and now.] 

This is about saying that we are all stronger when we come together, regardless of race, creed, religion, socioeconomic status, country of birth, gender identity, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. That I believe our country is lifted the highest when we all lift up each other, especially those of us with the most need of assistance. That yes, there will always be people who bilk the system, but that I'd rather let 100 of those people slide then let even 1 hardworking individual go hungry that just needs that little bit of extra help. And because I'd always rather help people in need instead of corporations.

Today's march is not a boo-hoo because our candidate didn't win. It is my personal pledge to stand up and speak out for the things that matter. And today over 3 million other people from around the country, and the world, took that pledge too."

The day was wonderful. 200,000+ people!! Peaceful marching, a wonderful hopeful vibe. It was an amazing experience, and getting to share it with Gwen brought me to tears more then once.

I hope that I can raise my daughter to believe in her power to change the world by exercising her voice! This was a great start.


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {The Animal Rescues Continue...}

Sweet Eli found Daisy and Trav walking one night at the beginning of January. He's gotten out of his house and it was a cold night, so we happily grabbed him and brought him home. His tail didn't stop wagging basically the whole time he was here.

Thankfully he was wearing a collar with his home phone number on it, so we were able to get a hold of his very grateful mom who came to pick him up.

Trav always likes to give an exasperated sigh when animals find him, but I just tell him that animals can sense the good ones!


the year of letting go

the year of letting go

of understanding loss, 

       grace of the word ‘no’

and also being able to say 

      ‘you are not kind’

the year of humanity/humility

when the whole world couldn’t get out of bed

everyone i’ve met this year says the same thing

‘you are so easy to be around, 

        how do you do that?’

the year i broke open and dug out all the rot with own hands

the year i learnt small talk

and how to smile at strangers

the year i understood 

         that i am my best when i reach out 
and ask ‘do you want to be my friend?’

the year of sugar, everywhere

softness. sweetness. honey honey.

the year of being alone

and learning how much i like it

the year of hugging people i don’t know 

                  because i want to know them

the year i made peace and love

right here

~  Warsan Shire


Nothing New - Again...

I did some soul searching around Christmas time and knew that with the New Year I was going to need to do a big reevaluation on how-where-why I was spending my money. I was feeling overburdened with "stuff" which often happens with the holiday decoration on top of our normal things plus the new Christmas gifts. Plus with the expenditure of Daisy's surgery, money that had been earmarked for this year's travels, well I was feeling rather down in the dumps about finances.

Instead of wallowing, I decided it was time to do something about it! Since January rolled around I've been putting my efforts again towards my "nothing new" project, first done by Sash at Inked in Colour, and done by me back in 2014 (and occasionally since then). My original goals were very environment oriented, which is still a huge factor for me, but I'll admit that my goals this time were much more financially motivated. I wanted to reshape my relationship with spending so that Nothing New could easily transition into "Very Little New" in a sustainable way that would benefit all of those areas.

The first thing I did (as soon as I stopped being sick, after Gwen went back to school!) was work on a purge. Its easy to find yourself buying little things you don't need when you have too much stuff and can't find the things you have. So a good purge was necessary for me. Out with the things that didn't bring me joy. Out with the things that were just taking up space. Out with a good bit of mental clutter that went along with the physical clutter in my space! I pulled out a big bag of stuff to donate, which along with Gwen's garbage bag full of items to get rid of, was a huge burden off of our overstuffed apartment.

I think the first week or so was the hardest... there were little routines that were hard to get out of. I noticed myself buying power-ups in games, which cost less then a dollar, but those "less then"s add up to multiple very quickly and easily. But I started removing temptations where I could: unsubscribing from marketing emails, quick scrolls past the facebook ads, and not even popping on the store websites I might normally "window shop" at. While obviously I'm still grocery shopping, I am trying to shop a lot smarter. I'm working on eating our way through our pantry, which is a good way to make sure we're not letting food go to waste anyway, and is helping us get rid of the excess of junky foods that seem to poor in during the holiday season.

My goal is to try to be pretty strict through January and February, and see where I stand after that.
Wish me luck.


Wordless Wednesday {Picture Dump!}

Epossumondas hiding in the Christmas tree!

Gwen brought home her class pet for a week back in December, he liked to be mischievous... 

I'm so lucky to have amazingly talented friends! They make my geeky Harry Potter heart so happy.

Snowflake fun!

This stand at the Christkindl Market was gorgeous and a little terrifying... so much breakable glass!

Best Christmas hoodie ever! A gift from my brother!

Christmas cards came a lot later this year, I was worried we wouldn't get many...

Ha! Worries unfounded! We got so many amazingly beautiful cards. I love having them hanging up, so we can look at all these gorgeous faces all year!

We spent New Years Eve at the Avs game... they lost, but it was still a super fun way to ring in the New Year!


Back to School, Back to Routine

Gwen headed back to school on the 3rd after two weeks off. We had a great time with our "12 Days of Christmas" and then much playing with the new toys, but honestly we were both ready by the end of that last week. I had a list a mile long of things to do that would be so much easier without someone under 10 in tow, and she was ready to play with someone fun (OMG, please no more paw patrol figurines; no, i can't think of one more thing to make with LEGOs). While the laziness and relaxation of break was nice, we were also ready for some routine again - seriously, give me all the yoga back!

Ironically, I ended up getting super sick right after she returned to school and didn't do much of anything for about 4 days (including one snow day that we spent watching movies). The cough came first, and stuck around the longest (I'm stillll coughing! ugh), but thankfully the super fun fever and chills, lack of appetite and complete absence of energy went away after those few days! Gwen was super sweet and understanding about my inability to be entertaining, and Trav was great with my inability to make dinner, so I was pretty guilt-free about taking those days. That said, I'm pretty sure when I looked around the apartment when I finally felt better, I literally let out an "ouf!" 

New printer/copier/scanner... to help me with my business needs!
Prior to break, I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything - the cleaning and purging I needed to do, Daisy's impending surgery, the hows of making travel work without the money now being spent on Daisy's surgery, upcoming items to prepare for my business - but the excitement of some child-free days, and of being well enough to do anything with them, made me much more productive then I might have been! And boy did it feel good to be productively getting things done again, to start a project and work on it through completion, with no interruptions. I also made sure to give myself an hour or so of quiet reading time to recharge before picking Gwen up at the end of each day (man have I missed reading!).

Gwen and I both have more patience thanks to this! Also, the apartment looks better then it has in weeks. Welcome back routine!



Back at the end of December I noticed a lump on Daisy's leg. She's a lab, a breed more prone to fatty lumps, so I was hoping it was just that. Alas, when we went in to have it checked, we found out it was a sarcoma.

Yesterday Daisy was in the vets office bright and early for her surgery. The doctor was quite hopeful that as long as they could completely remove the tumor, our sweet beast would have a full and complete recovery.

The surgery went well. At 11:30, I got the call: Daisy was out and did great. They had to take some muscle to get a good margin, so she'll get extra pain meds, but she looked good and they were really happy with how it went. I picked her up at 2:45, after they made sure she had no residual problems with the anesthesia.

The next steps are two weeks of rest for our girl: no walks, just pops in out for bathroom breaks, lots of naps, and antibiotics. We also have to do warm compresses on her leg. She goes in for a check on her leg on the 27th, and will get her stitches out at that point... and hopefully she'll be given the all clear.

She's pretty uncomfortable right now, and her leg definitely bothers her (she's limping a bit). Please send love to our sweet pup for a full, complete, and easy recovery.


A Dress with Pockets!! {An eShakti Review}

This is a Sponsored Post. I was provided with a dress free of charge in exchange for my honest review. While I was given the dress, I was not paid in any other way, and the views expressed here are my honest ones! 

I was contacted a while ago by eShakti about trying out there clothes. I wasn't ready at the time, and didn't know much about what made them unique. Since then I've heard their name a number of times, so when they approached me again recently, I thought why not give them a try.

They have a different model then a lot of places... everything is customizable! As someone who is slightly vertically challenged (*ahem*), finding clothes that fit without needing to be hemmed is a trick. Depending on the brand the petite size can be perfect, or it could be too long, or occasionally even too short! But that's not a problem here as you put in your actual height and decide where you want your hem to fall.

You can go for a straight size, or even input each of your measurements for a completely made to order piece. You can also customize the sleeve length and neckline. The original version of this dress had a different neckline and full length sleeves, not my style, but I loved this pattern so much! Plus it has pockets, the holy grail in a dress!

The quality of the dress is nice, and the pattern is every thing I hoped it would be! I can't wait until its actually warm enough for me to wear it


Daydreaming of 2017

You know that I'm always daydreaming about new big things to come, so I thought I might share some of what I'm hoping/planning/expecting/wishing to do in 2016 2017 (I'll be doing that for a while).

Weddings and Travel: 
I have two weddings in May, and one more in September. They are big ones, one for family and two for very longtime friends (both of which I'll be in!). Both May weddings are on the East Coast, only two weeks apart, but I'm going to do whatever I can to make it work! I love weddings anyway, and getting the chance to get back home and see people I love just makes it that much more appealing.

We are still planning Cape Cod in the summer, of course, and I'm sure there will be smaller/closer camping trips in the works as well.

Biggest, best, most details to work out: France in the Fall! We've been dying to travel internationally again (we haven't since Mexico with Ro and Pat, all those years ago), and personally I have been itching to go to France since giving birth to baby boy!

Yoga and Doula Work: 
I set some goals at the beginning of 2016, which proved pretty fruitful. For 2017 here's what I'd like to see happen.

- Finish my doula certification
- Four or five doula clients
- Be on the sub-list for three yoga studios
- One private yoga client
- Offer a free community class or workshop 

We'll see how these shape up!

Those are the big things! I also want to do my best to stay present in the moment, to be the best mom I can be to Gwen, and to keep a balance between work and home... but that's certainly not 2017 specific!

What are the big things you're dreaming about or aiming for in the coming year?


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {New Yums}

I had half a rutabaga leftover from the Root Slaw I made the other week and wasn't sure what to do with it! I've never really done much with rutabagas before, but a quick search showed that you could roasted them much like potatoes.

Cube the rutabaga; toss in a little oil, a little lemon, some Manchego and Roasted Garlic spice mix; throw it all together and roast at 425* for about 25-40 minutes (depending on how big your cubes are). Delicious!



Sometimes as things grow and change and move on, I wonder what Gwen will remember as she gets older. Already she doesn't remember our years nursing. Babywearing is vague to her, and while she still climbs in bed with us for morning snuggles all the time, she certainly doesn't remember sleeping half the night away in our bed for the first part of her life.

She still talks about missing Pennsylvania and the people or places there, but the names of her friends are starting to fade, faces are getting less distinct. When she's a teenager, will she remember living on the East Coast at all? Or will it be one of those fact that she knows, without any real memory attached to it?

When we left Pennsylvania, we left certain traditions and routines behind, and certain people. That's not bad per se, but I've certainly been wondering lately, as my girl gets older what memories will stick out the most. Will it be swim lessons or playing with yoga at home? Will it be me picking her up from school and doing homework together?

I'm sure it will involve lights on Christmas Eve and cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, traditions that can stay with us no matter where we move. I wish just for a moment I could know what memories my girl will cherish the most as an adult.

I hope that whatever memories you are making, they are beautiful ones that last throughout the whole coming year.